VLM and CityJet optimise LCY?Netherlands services
CityJet and VLM Airlines, both part of the Air France–KLM Group, have unveiled plans for their services to the Netherlands from London City Airport (LCY) in 2009.
From 5 January, all flights from LCY to Amsterdam, previously operated by VLM Airlines and KLM Cityhopper, will be operated by CityJet using Avro RJ85s with brand new interiors. The aircraft will be congifured with 95 seats, with a choice of business class and economy class. CityJet will offer eight return flights every weekday, with one service on Saturdays and four on Sundays. The flights between London City and Amsterdam will be operated as a VLM–KLM codeshare, and will continue to be sold through the VLM Airlines and KLM websites, and other sales channels.
To Rotterdam, VLM will offer eight return flights every weekday from London City, also beginning on 5 January. An additional aircraft will be stationed at Rotterdam Airport to operate charter flights.
From 12 January, VLM will begin a twice-weekday service from LCY to Eindhoven, taking over the service currently offered by CityJet.
Bram Gräber, SVP area manager Benelux of Air France–KLM remarked, “With both airlines having won major awards in 2008, frequent business passengers will receive the excellent service they are accustomed to throughout our joint network.”
Existing sales channels remain unchanged with online bookings for flights throughout the CityJet/VLM Airlines network possible via both websites www.flyvlm.com and www.cityjet.com. A combined website is being developed and will be unveiled by the end of the year.
VLM Airlines is also examining becoming a member of Flying Blue, the frequent flyer programme of Air France–KLM. This will offer an extra advantage to the regular business customers in the Netherlands, many of whom are already members of this loyalty programme via KLM. The transition from the VLM Encore programme to the Flying Blue programme will be defined in the coming months.
“We are very pleased to see that the takeover of our company is having a positive effect for our customers,” said Johan Vanneste, managing director of VLM Airlines. “The Flying Blue frequent flyer programme will offer all our customers a loyalty programme with excellent reward possibilities.”
Geoffrey O’Byrne-White, CEO of CityJet, added, “This is a very important development for us. The Amsterdam–London City route is already firmly established with a schedule and service much appreciated by a discerning clientele. We look forward to continuing to meet the demands of this market, even in such a challenging environment.”